Live Updates | In the aftermath of the armed rebellion of the Russian mercenary chief

Live Updates |  In the aftermath of the armed rebellion of the Russian mercenary chief

The latest developments in the aftermath of the armed rebellion declared by the Russian mercenary commander Yevgeny Prigozhin:

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A former CIA director on Sunday warned the leader of a failed Russian revolution to “be very careful about open windows.”

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” retired general David Petraeus was apparently referring to the number of prominent Russians who have died under mysterious circumstances, including falling out of windows, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

As part of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s deal to stem the advance of Wagner’s mercenaries into Moscow, he has agreed to go into exile in neighboring Belarus, whose leader is a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Prigozhin spared his life, but he lost the Wagner Collection,” Petraeus said. “And he must be very careful about the open windows in his new surroundings in Belarus, where he goes.”

Among those killed in mysterious circumstances was the chairman of the board of directors of Russia’s largest private oil company, who criticized Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. He fell from the hospital window In September last year.

The Kremlin systematically cracked down on critics of the war, so Prigozhin’s quick pardon seemed to show Putin’s weakness. But many of those who opposed or betrayed Putin died months or years later, even after leaving Russia.

Prigozhin has sharply criticized the way the Russian military has conducted the war and went further on Friday by calling Putin’s justification for the invasion a lie. Prigozhin accused the military of misleading Putin and Russian society by falsely claiming that Ukraine and NATO were planning to attack Russia.

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President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone on Sunday, a day after a mercenary group thwarted an insurrection in Russia that had weakened President Vladimir Putin.

Writing on his website and in Telegram, Zelensky said they discussed “the course of hostilities and ongoing processes in Russia” and urged more pressure on Russia to restore Ukraine’s borders.

“Yesterday’s events revealed the weakness of the Putin regime,” Zelensky told Biden.

The White House said the two leaders discussed the Ukraine counterattack, and that Biden reaffirmed unwavering US support, including through continued security, economic and humanitarian assistance.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier Sunday that the attempted insurrection and now-exiled Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “creates more cracks in the Russian facade”.

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Key developments:

The Russian mercenary leader denied ending the revolution but left questions About Putin’s power

Belarus’ deal to take over the leader of the Russian insurgency puts him in an even more oppressive position his mom

The mercenary chief who called for an uprising against the Russian generals has long connections to Putin

Follow AP coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the attempted insurrection and now-exiled Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “creates more cracks in the Russian facade”.

Speaking to CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the senior US diplomat stressed that it was an unfolding story and that the long-term effects of the now-abandoned Wagner Forces march on Moscow would take time to assess, but said it portended more trouble for it. . Leader of Russia.

“We know Putin has a lot to answer for in the coming weeks and months,” he said.

Asked whether the United States was prepared for Putin’s possible fall from power and whether there were concerns about the security of nuclear weapons in its strategic rival, Blinken said: “We always prepare for every emergency.”

“We have not seen any change in Russia’s nuclear position,” he added. “There has been no change in our country. But it is something we will watch very carefully.”

Blinken declined to speak to US intelligence about whether Putin was in Moscow and declined to disclose details of diplomatic relations between Washington and Russia in the past few days.

“We had some contact with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it came to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia,” he said.

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The Russian forces deployed to protect the capital withdrew on Sunday, after the withdrawal of mercenary forces heading towards Moscow.

After calling for an armed insurrection with the aim of overthrowing the Russian defense minister, mercenary commander Yevgeny Prigozhin and his militants appeared to take control of the Russian military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don that oversees the fighting in Ukraine.

Then they advanced towards Moscow largely unhindered. Russian media reported that it had shot down several helicopters and a military communications plane. The Ministry of Defense has not commented.

They were stopped only by an agreement to send Prigozhin to neighboring Belarus, which supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that charges against him of waging an armed rebellion would be dropped, and Prigozhin ordered his forces to return to their field camps.

Moscow had prepared for the arrival of Wagner’s forces by setting up checkpoints with armored vehicles and troops on the city’s southern edge.

There was little indication in Moscow on Sunday of the anti-terror warning delivered after Prigozhin launched his short-lived rebellion and nominally stayed put.

Crowds spilled over into the center of the Russian capital on a sunny day, and street cafes were packed with customers. Traffic has returned to normal and roadblocks and checkpoints have been removed.

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A senior Russian diplomat flew to Beijing for talks with the Chinese government on Sunday, a day after a Russian mercenary commander put down a revolt.

China’s Foreign Ministry said in a one-line statement on its website that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko met with Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Gang to discuss “international and regional issues of common concern.”

Rudenko’s visit comes after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, ordered his forces to march on Moscow before reaching an agreement with the Kremlin on Saturday to go into exile and signal a withdrawal.

China has not officially commented on the crisis in Russia.

Russia and China maintained close relations throughout Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which China refused to condemn.

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There was little sign in Moscow on Sunday of the anti-terror warning delivered after Yevgeny Prigozhin launched his rebellion and nominally stayed put.

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Crowds spilled over into the center of the Russian capital on a sunny day, and street cafes were packed with customers. Traffic has returned to normal and roadblocks and checkpoints have been removed.

The “anti-terror regime” announced by the authorities in Moscow and its environs allowed restrictions on freedoms and enhanced security.

Announcers on state-controlled television stations described the deal that ended the crisis as a show of wisdom by President Vladimir Putin, and broadcast footage of Wagner Group soldiers withdrawing from Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia. People in Rostov-on-Don interviewed by Channel One TV praised Putin for defusing the crisis.

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There are still no reports of mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin arriving in Belarus after he struck a deal with the Kremlin to go into exile and end his rebellion.

Several other questions remained unanswered Sunday morning, including whether Prigozhin would be joined in exile by any of the Wagner Group’s forces and what role, if any, he might play there.

Prigozhin, who sent a series of audio and video updates during his revolution, has kept silent ever since the Kremlin announced that a deal had been struck in order to end his march on Moscow and leave Russia.

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The US-based Institute for the Study of War says the Kremlin “faces a very precarious balance” after the de-insurgency deal struck by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group.

The institute said that the optics of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko played a role in stopping the military advance on Moscow and were “insulting” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She said that “the deal Lukashenko negotiated is a short-term solution, not a long-term solution, and Prigozhin’s rebellion exposed severe weaknesses” in the Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry. She added that the Kremlin’s apparent surprise at Prigozhin’s rebellion did not reflect well on Russia’s secret service, the FSB.

The ISW noted that Prigozhin “consistently escalated” his rhetoric against the Russian Ministry of Defense before starting his insurrection “and Putin’s failure to mitigate this danger”.

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